Saturday, April 1

What Happened to the Dames Point Bridge Lights?

I was excited when I heard that the Dames Point Bridge would benefit from some lighting at night. I figured it would look cool. 

When the lights first came on, I was a little disappointed because it seemed that the lights could have been designed better or that a percentage of the lighting was still off. In fact, I think some nights the lights were only half on. 

Then, after about a month, I thought the lights appeared to be pretty good: you could see it from all directions, at least. Or maybe I just got used to the semi-lit look. Anyhow, the Dames Point Bridge was lit, and it looked good. Good enough. 

Then, after a couple of months of hearing positive comments about the pretty bridge, I noticed that the Dames Point was only half lit. One side only. Bridges don't look cool only half-lit, but we seemed to try it for a couple of weeks. 

Eventually, however, the lights went off completely, and that's around the time of me writing about them. I haven't done the research as to why the lights went off. It doesn't really matter. I can tell you that tourists liked them when they were on, but I can't confirm those tourists spent any more money in the region or bothered to go downtown. 

In the end, the lighting of the Dames Point Bridge may end up being a metaphor for Jacksonville: lots of potential, slow to get going, great for a while, sputtering, and then failure. As an outsider who has become an insider, I'd say that maintaining some attention to detail would be a positive improvement for a city that does not need to continually sputter and fail. Let's light the bridge and keep it lit. Let's start some projects and finish them. And then maintain what we finish. People notice. 

A few days after I published this article, the lights came back on the Dames Point. However, several of the lights seemed to be out, while others were continuously flashing. Maybe we need to get an electrician on the bridge to see if the connections are good. If the light bulbs are flashing because they're going bad after a few months, that's going to be a long-term problem with whatever bulbs were purchased, and the bridge will look half-ass for years to come.

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Harrell & Harrell 'The Right Size' Ad is Hilarious

Maybe Harrell & Harrell was going for a sassy, naughty response to Morgan & Morgan. Maybe the law firm just got really lucky and never thought about it. However, the result is one of the best clapback ads ever created.

For context, Morgan & Morgan created a series of commercials and billboards claiming that size matters. It's because Morgan & Morgan is the largest injury law firm on earth or something. The phrase also has a sexual connotation. The ads didn't take it too far, but everyone knows the debate about male size and whether it matters. So a big law firm is saying that size matters, and they are kind of using sex to sell, even if the Morgans aren't the sexiest men alive.

The genius of Harrell & Harrell's ad campaign is that Holt Harrell probably is the sexiest lawyer alive. And the billboard, with a photo of Holt, reads, "The right size." That's freakin hilarious! Plausible deniability allows one to say it's just in response to some large law firm that doesn't really know who you are, but if you acknowledge the use of sex in the Morgan & Morgan ad, then the response ad is doing the same thing. It's not the size but how you use it, right? Morgan & Morgan is just too big and too firm. 

When you are a handsome, wealthy lawyer-veteran like Holt Harrell, you're probably more worried about lining up donors for a potential Senate bid than a pissing contest with Morgan and Morgan, but Holt won it anyhow. Because of the ad, you assume Harrell drives a sensible family sedan instead of a monster pickup truck. You assume he shows up for court well-rested rather than hung-over. You assume he is polite to the judge. You assume he holds you afterwards; or holts you. Most of us associate law firms with one-night-stands: you're ashamed to do it, but you kind of want it to be good if you're going to bother. But Holt Harrell is the lawyer you'd be proud to bring home to dinner with the family.

My wife used Milwaukee's biggest and most advertised law firm when she got into an accident, and it worked out OK for her, but when she finally met the man behind the "one call, that's all" catchphrase, she said it was like meeting a rock star. And that was after all his minions did his bidding to get the settlement. I told her he probably meets all the clients once just to see if they'd make good billboard photos, but she didn't really make enough money to get plastered on a giant sign. You don't imagine Holt Harrell checking out clients once just to see if they're billboard-worthy. That's a big, sleazy Orlando-lawyer move. And it's not the size of the boat but the motion of the ocean that makes all the difference.

I'm Gonna be a Homeschool Millionaire!

Florida is about to pass a voucher school bill that lets responsible parents like myself decide what's best for my kids. Because I know. And I also know that I can get $8,000 for each one of those little bastards I keep home to educate. 

So let's see, four kids, fourteen years each...$448,000. Half a million, anyhow. I'll just set them right down in front of Fox News and they'll know all they need to know. Maybe some 700 Club for a little religion and Newsmax for some unbiased hard news. I can still work my other jobs as long as someone's home to make sure the kids are using some learning apps on their phones. 

Since it's about mind and body, weekly fishing and shooting field trips will be necessary, as well as recess at the local park for as long as it takes to tire them out. 

I guess it probably makes sense to get some book-learning curriculum, too, and since that only costs about $500 per year per kid, we'll still have plenty left over to put a down payment on my new RAM pickup.  

Actually, it probably makes sense to find four other families at church that also want to homeschool so that I only have to watch kids once a week. Yep, I'll be a pretty good teacher, for sure, and I know what's best for my kids. 

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